P: 703 356-0780 | 6830 Elm Street, McLean, VA 22101

FAQs

This is a collection of the most common questions we receive from our families. If you have a question that is not answered on this page, please feel free to email us and a staff member will be in touch.

How much time would my child be allotted during group tutoring sessions?

Group Tutoring sessions are a minimum of three hours. In our experience, this “magic number” allows students to organize materials, create a study plan, execute the plan, and bring closure to the session by recapping what was completed (and what work remains) in an email.

On weekdays, group begins at 2:30 and ends at 7:00. On Saturdays, group runs from 1:00 to 5:00. On Sundays, there are two sessions which run from 12:00 to 3:30 and 3:30 to 7:00.  Students are welcome (and encouraged!) to stay longer than three hours, free of charge.

Younger students sometimes have less academic stamina and it takes time before they can work productively for three hours. In such cases, the group sessions will be prorated until students can build enough stamina to work for at least three hours.

What is the average ratio of tutors to students in a group setting?

The average student to tutor ratio in group is 3:1. By design, students work independently at times and also with tutors. All to-do sheets and prioritization of assignments are checked by a tutor before students begin initiating work.

How does group tutoring differ from individual tutoring, and what are the benefits of each?

Group Tutoring is ideal for students who need organizational and content support in a variety of subjects. Students begin each session by completing a “to-do” list which outlines and prioritizes short and long term assignments. Tutors check each student’s to-do sheet with their assignment books, learning management system (Blackboard, Haiku, etc.), and any other means of communication between students, parents, and teachers such as emails and progress reports.

The groups setting allows students to receive instructional support when they need it and work independently on tasks with which they feel more comfortable. This builds independent learning skills and confidence.

Additionally, group students find themselves surrounded by peers, some of whom are in the same classes. Students quickly learn that school can be challenging for others as well, but there are solutions to achieving success. For example, tutors often model how to use example problems in a math book or credible encyclopedias to find answers.

Individual tutoring follows a traditional tutoring model which allows students to meet one-on-one with a consistent tutor in a private setting. Individual tutoring works well for students who need thorough support in specific subject areas. In this setting students receive the full attention of their tutor for the duration of the session.

Compared to group, individual sessions are not as comprehensive, although they may be organizationally based.

Can home tutoring be an option for my child?

We do offer in-home and in-school tutoring in extreme cases depending on the academic needs of the student.

Can my child attend group sessions on a need only basis?

For group tutoring to be effective, students must consistently come on the day(s) they are scheduled. This builds a rhythm of work that is paramount to success, while also allowing staff to learn each students’ learning styles.

Students may request additional sessions, but placement in group is not guaranteed.

What academic skills might my child gain from attending group sessions?

At MLS we have implemented daily routines that model a strong study rhythm and refine organizational skills. The three hour time commitment required for group students underscores the fact that homework is a priority and should not be interrupted by other tasks.

Furthermore, students begin each group session by forming a prioritized list of assignments with a tutor.  Students compose a daily to-do sheet detailing short and long term assignments gathered from a variety of sources, such as assignment books, Blackboard, Google docs, etc.  Tutors help students design a plan for the day based on due dates, level of difficulty, and time required to complete each assignment. We emphasize the value of chunking up hefty assignments, such as projects and test preparation.

Finally, we ensure that students carve out time to clean out their backpacks and file their papers into the appropriate academic binder in the appropriate subsection. We model these habits daily as students begin to adopt them for themselves over the course of the school year.

During what hours do you tutor children?

On week days, we tutor students from 2:30 PM to 9:00 PM.  On Saturdays, our hours are from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM, and on Sundays our hours are from 12:00 PM to 7:00 PM. On week days, our distance learning students attend from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

During the summer, we typically tutor students from the mid-morning to the evening, Monday through Friday.

Are there a minimum number of days and hours of attendance that MLS recommends?

Our recommendation is tailored to each individual student’s needs.  For some students, a once a week group tutoring session is sufficient.  For others, a once or twice a week private session, and/or a second or third group session, may be needed.

Is there a specific age group to whom MLS provides services?

We tutor students from pre-kindergarten through college.

If my child has an unforeseen conflict, how far ahead of time do I have to cancel or reschedule?

We require an email to cancel a session 24 hours before the start of the session to avoid charges. If we do not receive 24 hours notice, you will be charged for the full session as our staff is already scheduled.

In the event of illness or a family emergency, you will not be charged regardless of the 24 hour window.

What sort of feedback can I expect from MLS staff regarding my child’s learning and development?

At the end of each group session, many students write an email to their parents and MLS summarizing what they did in their tutoring session, when assignments are due, what assignments still need to be completed, and any other important information.  We call these emails “Just the Facts.” Parents are encouraged to contact their child’s tutor with any questions or concerns.